|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Legend of Montrose by Walter Scott:
salvages understand the rules and practique of war. Who should
have pre-supposed their acquaintance with the maxim of the great
and godlike Gustavus Adolphus, that a flag of truce should be
half a messenger half a spy?--And, having finished burnishing his
arms, he sate down patiently to compute how much half a dollar
per diem would amount to at the end of a six-months' campaign;
and, when he had settled that problem, proceeded to the more
abstruse calculations necessary for drawing up a brigade of two
thousand men on the principle of extracting the square root.
From his musings, he was roused by the joyful sound of the dinner
bell, on which the Highlander, lately his guard, became his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dark Lady of the Sonnets by George Bernard Shaw:
was one of them that "crook the pregnant hinges of the knee where
thrift may follow fawning." Think of Rosencrantz, Guildenstern,
Osric, the fop who annoyed Hotspur, and a dozen passages concerning
such people! If such evidence can prove anything (and Mr Harris
relies throughout on such evidence) Shakespear loathed courtiers.
If, on the other hand, Shakespear's characters are mostly members of
the leisured classes, the same thing is true of Mr Harris's own plays
and mine. Industrial slavery is not compatible with that freedom of
adventure, that personal refinement and intellectual culture, that
scope of action, which the higher and subtler drama demands.
Even Cervantes had finally to drop Don Quixote's troubles with
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
measure of that wisdom, but to the full compass of my powers; yea
I have seen that I was not brought forth by chance, nor made of
myself, but that he fashioned me, as it pleased him, and set me
to have dominion over his creatures, howbeit making me lower than
some; that, when I was broken, he re-created me with a better
renewal; and that he shall draw me by his divine will from this
world and place me in that other life that is endless and
eternal; and that in nothing I could withstand the might of his
providence, nor add anything to myself nor take anything away,
whether in stature or bodily form, and that I am not able to
renew for myself that which is waxen old, nor raise that which
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Oscar Wilde Miscellaneous by Oscar Wilde:
the ground is very hard.
MYRRHINA. Do the birds of the air feed him? Do the jackals share
their booty with him?
FIRST MAN. Every evening we bring him food. We do not think that
the birds of the air feed him.
MYRRHINA. Why do ye feed him? What profit have ye in so doing?
SECOND MAN. He is a very holy man. One of the gods whom he has
offended has made him mad. We think he has offended the moon.
MYRRHINA. Go and tell him that one who has come from Alexandria
desires to speak with him.
FIRST MAN. We dare not tell him. This hour he is praying to his